In a letter to fans shared to via his Instagram Story, Young Thug addressed the lyrics, which many fans have interpreted as being the latest entry in King Push's history of Drake disses.
"I don't respect the Pusha-T verse on the song with me and Gunna cause I don't have nun to do with y'all beef nor does Gunna," Thugger said. He added that if he had known the lyrics were "about him"—presumably meaning his multi-time collaborator Drake—he would have made changes prior to completion.
The song in question, possibly titled “Paranoia,” arrived following the release of Pop Smoke's first posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.
In it, Pusha-T seemingly references a 2018 incident in which multiple people rushed the stage during his show in Toronto. He also mentioned Mississauga, a Canadian city in the Ontario providence that neighbors Toronto, as well as Drake's song-based adoptions of different accents:
You know reality bites, it's chess, not checkers
Those empty threats only sound good on your records
If the patois is not followed by a Blocka
It's like Marked for Death Screwface, without the choppa
Let 'em rush the stage when you made like Sinatra
Only to hide the blade flyin' back through LaGuardia
I might even buy a home out in Mississauga
Early Tuesday, Pusha-T responded to Thugger's criticism, saying that "nobody knew what the verse was about," including the label bosses who halted its release.
"They ONLY ASSUME because HE TOLD them!" Pusha-T said, comparing it to another instance of what he says represents the same kind of moves.
In subsequent IG Story updates, Pusha said Thugger's verse on "Paranoia" was the last one to be added. Furthermore, he said, that addition came about solely because of Pusha's request.
"I WOULD NEVER look or need YOUR respect for what [it is] I bring to this rap game!" he said.
From there, Pusha tagged Steven Victor (Victor Victor boss and manager to the late Pop Smoke) and told him to remove his work from the upcoming deluxe edition of the album "to avoid any confusion that may take away from this amazing body of work."
On Tuesday evening, Thugger returned to Instagram with another response for Pusha.
"First of all, your verse seven days, if you know what I mean ... weak (week)," he said, before questioning why Push would use Pop Smoke's record to attack Drake. "... You came and put some bullshit on a n***a who's resting in peace's music, tryna to fuck up a n***a whole vibe, 'cause you feel this is the perfect platform—Thug, Gunna, and Pop Smoke—this is the perfect platform to go at this n***a's ass ... do that shit on your own song."
Last week, Mike Dee—a longtime friend of Pop Smoke—told fans that a deluxe edition of Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon was indeed on the way. He also suggested that it could arrive as soon as later this month, possibly near the date of July 20, which would have marked Pop Smoke’s 21st birthday.